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Child Tax Credit Eligibility

In addition to the Credit for Child and Dependent Care expense, the Child Tax Credit can also be claimed by taxpayers who have a child below age 17. This credit will reduce your tax expense. The child tax credit can reduce the amount that you owe for taxes. If your current tax liability is less than the child tax credit then you may be eligible for the additional child tax credit.

You qualify for the Child Tax Credit if you meet the following tests:

  1. Citizenship Test. Your dependent must be a U.S. citizen or resident.
  2. Residence Test. A foster child below age 17 must have lived with you as a member of your household for more than half of the taxable year. There are some exceptions to the residence test, which can be found in IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
  3. Age Test. To qualify, a child must have been under age 17 – age 16 or younger – at the end of the taxable year.
  4. Relationship Test. To claim a child for purposes of the Child Tax Credit, they must either be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of these individuals, which includes your grandchild, niece or nephew. An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
  5. Support Test. In order to claim a child for this credit, the child must not have provided more than half of his/her own support.
  6. Dependent Test. You must claim the child as a dependent on your federal tax return.
  7. You must report each qualifying child’s tax identification number (TIN) or Social Security Number on your return for the taxable year.
  8. Your income limits are:
  • Married filing jointly- $110,000
  • Single, head of household-$75,000
  • Married filing separately-$55,000

If your income exceeds the above limits, then your credit will be reduced by $50.00 for every $1,000.00 that exceeds the income guidelines. You may also see a reduction in the full credit amount if you do not have enough tax to reduce. If you see a lower amount than the full $1,000.00 credit then you may qualify for the additional child tax credit.

For more information, see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, available at the